Reflections on my Camino – Clearing One’s Mind

Life is busy with too much to do and too much to think about.  One of the true blessings of the Camino is the chance to clear your mind.   On the Camino you have a chance to clear you mind and focus on one thing — your feet, your breathing, how heavy your pack is, your thirst, the flowers, your conversation with your walking partner.  It is a blessing to do one thing at a time and focus on one thing at a time.

I had originally planned on using my head phones and listening to my iPhone as I walked.  I mean, how could I walk for so many hours by myself and not “occupy” myself with some music or a podcast.  During the trip, I never listened to my iPhone as I walked.  It was such a blessing to not have any other distraction besides walking and experiencing the world around me.

The start of each day walking usually focused on how sore or stiff or cold I was.  If that would happen on any day off the Camino I would stop and deal with the bother.  On the Camino, that became the subject of my thoughts.  I would ask what was sore and how?  Was it a toe or a heel that ached or throbbed?  Was that the same yesterday?  Did I pay attention to that spot this morning?  Should I stop and put a bit of moleskin on it?  I’ll just wait a few minutes and see if it goes away.  If it continues, deal with it.  If not, find a new topic for reflection.

Without a schedule, you have the luxury of dealing with one thought or one task at a time.  You can devote time to reflection that is so rare in a busy, modern life.  The rhythm of your walking becomes the background cadence for your thoughts instead of the usual  sounds of an office or a car or an iPhone.  With each step you measure the value of your thought – the more steps you take while reflection on a topic, the more valuable it is.  It is not measured by how many minutes on your schedule or how many streets you pass or how many songs you’ve listened to.  Your feet make that measure allowing your mind to focus.

What I learned:

I need more uninterrupted reflection time in my life.  It doesn’t need to be a full day of walking, but I need to create a space for quiet, contemplative reflection.

Drop us a note...we'd love to hear from you!

%d bloggers like this: